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Hi guys, (and gals)

 

I love all the information I've found on this site, but I've had a hard time finding real basic "if you don't know anything about music this'll get you started" kind of stuff.  I was looking all over here and at CigarBoxNation for like a list of songs that use just I, IV and V chords, something that would just get me started, and I haven't seen anything like that anywhere.

 

So, I'm trying to put together a list of songs for CBG that are all I, IV, and V chords over at http://101cigarboxguitarsongs.weebly.com.  (No, this is not shameless self-promotion; I really do need help finding good songs that work well on CBGs.)  If you have a favorite *public domain* song you'd be willing to share - or an original work you'd like to see posted - please message me.  I will give full credit for your contribution, plus I'll link back to your site or youtube channel.

 

Thanks,

Michael

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Replies to This Discussion

Michael:

Google 3 chord songs and enjoy lking at numerous sites that should be able to help you.  Jess Allred

Hi Jess,

 

I've done that already and the problem is the songs I find aren't notated I, IV and V - the chords are all letter names, which would require a CBG-er to learn all 12 chords in an endless variety of tunings - or be able to transpose.  Which I can do but most beginning musicians probably can't.  Plus I'm not sure which songs would sound good on a CBG (but I guess I could just try each song I come across, and see if I like how it sounds.)

When you say 3 chord songs, what genre? blues, C&W, rock, folk ....?

U gotta decode em Michael...   Where all 3 chords are major two will pretty much invariably consecutive, ie c,d      d,e     etc...   the 2 consecutive letters will be iv and v....               U can ignore accidentals (♭, #)  and just count thru the letters, ie if C=4, D=5, E=6 etc etc...  remeber g is the last, so after G comes  A...

If you are playing a 3-string  1 5 1 tuned instrument, you can use this to transpose:  If the song is in D, use the chord names on the top of each  diagram.  If the song is in G or C, use the chord names on the bottom of each diagram.  You'll be transposing them to D on the fly.

 

If the song is in any other key, you'll have a bit more work to do but it is not hard to transpose chords.

 

Michael:

It seems complicated at first, but refer to what Diane and Jef (the Kid) say in their posts.  The most important thing to learn are key signatures and the chords in each key.  If you are tuned to open G, as many of us are, the chords are G-C-D (I-IV-V).  Much information is available on the web, by cruising through specific topics, e.g., guitar tuning; chord progression; key signatures; etc.  But, ask any questions here, and many people will be helpful.

Michael Glenn said:

Hi Jess,

 

I've done that already and the problem is the songs I find aren't notated I, IV and V - the chords are all letter names, which would require a CBG-er to learn all 12 chords in an endless variety of tunings - or be able to transpose.  Which I can do but most beginning musicians probably can't.  Plus I'm not sure which songs would sound good on a CBG (but I guess I could just try each song I come across, and see if I like how it sounds.)

Sorry, I guess in all my excitement I wasn't clear on what I'm looking for.

 

I play in open tuning (well the one I have right now is tuned G-D-G, using the 5, 4 and 3 strings from a pack of guitar strings.)  And I just fret at the 5th and7th to get the IV and V.  I also figured out a workable I, IV, V rotation for standard tuning G-B-E.

 

I know how to figure out which chords are the I, IV and V and how to transpose; I've been playing piano for a couple years and been on tenor uke for about a year and a half.  And I took a semester of music theory in school, so I know 7 chords, 9ths, etc... just not where  to find those yet on CBG (but I don't care about that - yet.)

 

What I'm trying to do is put together some simple songs in easy chord notation so that when I start selling CBGs, I can tell my customers "Oh, by the way, here's a website with a ton of real simple songs arranged just for this instrument."

 

So really what I'm asking for (I think) is songs people like to play on their CBG, that sound good, and that are simple 3 chord songs.  I don't need to know how to play them - I've already got that figured out.  I just want to know what to play.

 

I hope this clears up any confusion.

Michael

 

i chord (major)      0, 0, 4    or    4, 0, 0  aka 'Home'    ( i,iii,v from scale)

vi chord (relative minor)  0,2,4  or 4,2,0   (vi, i, iii from scale)

 

iv chord (major)  0, 2, 5  or 5, 2, 0 aka 'Away from home'  (iv, vi, i from scale)

ii chord (relative minor)  2,2,5 or 5,2,2  ( ii, iv, vi from scale)

 

v chord (major) 2,0,2  aka 'Needing to go home'  (v, vi, ii from scale)

iii chord (relative minor) 4, 4, 7  or 7, 4, 4   (iii, v, vii from scale)

 

vii Chord (diminshed)  2, 4, 5 or 5, 4, 2 aka 'Who burned down my home ?' (vii, ii, iv from scale)

 

try these...

 

focus on changes from each major chord to its relative minor and see how the shifting inversion works..

then look at i-iv and   i-v, with a piano background the shifting inversions should immediately hit home for you with these shapes..

look at HOW a chord becomes it's relative minor eg i chord (i, iii, v) -> vi chord ( vi, i, iii) etc..

btw the 'home' 'away from home' 'needing to go home' paradigm applies equally to the relative minors ie vi chord also = 'home'

Sorry, Phrygian Kid, I meant I want to know what songs to play - not what chords.  Great information though, and I like how you laid it all out.  It's just not what I'm looking for in this thread.

 

I just want to know if there are any 3 chord songs that other people enjoy playing, that they would recommend to beginners?

Well, then, like Jess said way back, google up 3-chord songs and you get sites like this:

 

http://www.piano-play-it.com/three-chord-songs.html

 

http://www.drbanjo.com/instructional-favoritesongswith2or3chords.php

 

They don't lay out each song with the chords/lyrics, but you can search chord lyrics for any song you want and someone has uploaded it in the key it was written in.  You'll then have to transpose to G.  Or you can just hear it and write it up yourself.

 

And then there is this, everything in G:

 

http://www.amazon.com/presents-Three-chord-Childrens-Guitar-Mccabes...

Thanks Diane.  The list on the Dr. Banjo site is along the lines of what I'm looking for.  Now I'm off to search lyrics and chords, and re-write everything to I, IV, V.  And maybe look for some 4 chord songs too, 'cause just 3 chords does get boring eventually.

 

I'd seen the Mel Bay book before and almost bought one for my ukulele; I was just hoping to find something where the songs were already notated (I), (IV) (V), instead of the chord letters.  But I can do that part myself.  I'm getting there, bye and bye.

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